by C. Alan Joyce, Sarah Janssen
Publication Date: October 15, 2009
Genre: Books and Reading, History, Reference
Publisher: Reader's Digest
Bibliophiles, grab your glasses! Here is a compendium of interesting--and often scandalous--facts and quips about the literary world. Featuring authors and tomes of yesteryear and yesterday, from Tolkien's Middle- earth to Jeffrey Eugenides's Middlesex, you'll sections such as:
Parental Guidance Suggested: Banned works of fiction and the controversy surrounding them.
Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!): The real-life stories and inspirations behind beloved "leading creatures."
Time to Make the Doughnuts: Odd jobs of famous authors.
Tell Me a Story: Dahl's short stories, Seuss's political cartoons; the lesser-known, and sometimes shocking, adult writings of beloved children's authors.
The Long Con: Shocking (and sometimes shockingly long-lived) literary hoaxes: Frey, JT Leroy, The Education of Little Tree, The Day After Roswell, etc.
Science Fiction, Science Fact: If alien monoliths are ever found on the moon, the safer bet is that they would be translucent crystal; Sir Arthur C. Clarke is celebrated for making accurate predictions of various technologies, years ahead of their time. A look at which of his predictions held true and the same feats of other authors.
Yes, But is it Art?: The weirdest books ever written: books without verbs, without punctuation...or without the letter "e".
I had no idea that Reader’s Digest was still publishing books, nor that they were publishing things I’d find interesting. (Are they still doing condensed books?) But this little reference tome of odd and interesting facts was interesting; trivia is cat nip for me, and while some of what was in here were things I already knew, quite a bit wasn’t. I found myself reading some sections out loud to MT, and more than a couple sparked interesting conversations, and at least 1 debate. (MT got a bit sloppy and made a throw-away comment about Australia not banning books like America did – to be fair, a national sports icon died young yesterday, and he wasn’t in top form. Still, Wikipedia was called up, and there was a reckoning.)
I always pick these type of books up at used book sales, or remainder shops, so I always feel like the knowledge gained was good value.